Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"There is no joy of cooking without the joy of friends"

The title of this post is a quote that's on an adorable apron my aunt & uncle got me for Christmas. The quote couldn't be truer. In fact, I wore this apron Saturday night while I was preparing dinner for our friends - Matt, Alexis, Johnny, and Kristen who graced us with their presence. Fun was had by all....especially when it came to fondue time!

The main course for the night was a marinated pork loin alongside roasted asparagus (my first time ever cooking asparagus), and some mashed potatoes and apple raisin relish. I made some popovers too. For dessert we had chocolate fondue! Yum!

I am not sure I can recreate the measurements for my marinade for the pork so I'll just list what I used. I'm also sharing mashed potatoes recipe (which is my own take on I don't know how many mashed potato recipes I've seen) and the apple raisin relish, popover, and fondue recipes.

Marinated Pork Loin

Canola Oil
Spicy Brown Mustard
Onion Powder
Italian Seasoning
Seasoned meat tenderizer

Combine all ingredients in small bowl and then spread over two 2lb pork loins generously being sure to rub marinade into meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours to marinade. Cook in roasting pan at 400 degrees F for approximately 75 minutes. Remove meat from pan and place on cutting board. Let meat rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.

(from foodnetwork.com)

4 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups all-purpose flour*
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Grease 12 large muffin tin cups or 12 custard cups. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat well. Add the milk, flour, and salt, and beat until just blended. Fill the muffin tin cups or custard cups 3/4 full with the batter. Place the pan on the center rack in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes without opening the oven door.
*I made one batch as listed above and another replacing all-purpose flour with wheat flour and adding about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar - picture above shows both kinds, the wheat ones (on left) did not turn out as "fluffy" but were still quite good*

Apple Raisin Relish

(from marthastewart.com)

2 tart green apples, such as Granny Smith ( 3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 cup sugar
3-4 tablespoons raisins, or dried currants
1 tablespoon cider vinegar, or white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

In a medium saucepan, combine the apples, sugar, raisins, vinegar, ginger, and cayenne over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, until apples are soft, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve alongside or on top of pork.

Mashed Potatoes

Approximately 3lbs of baby red pototates halved
2 cans low sodium chicken broth, plus 2 cans of water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
4 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons (half stick) of butter

Bring chicken broth and water (if you need more liquid to cover potatoes, just add more water) for potatoes to a boil, add garlic, salt, pepper, and onion powder (this helps to infuse the potatoes with flavor while cooking). Boil until fork tender. Drain and return potatoes to pot on low setting. Be sure to save any minced garlic that may be left in your collander from draining the potatoes and return to pot as well.

Add butter and cream cheese and blend into potatoes with potato masher. Add heavy cream. Continue to mash until you reach desired consistency. Flavor with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Classic Chocolate Fondue
(from the Fondue Cookbook)

12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy cream

Combine 2 ingredients in fondue pot on low setting. Whisk until fully combined and dippable.

Serve with assorted dippers including:
Fruit: Strawberries, Bananas, Apple wedges, Pineapple
Others: Oreos, Pirouettes (Pepperidge Farm), Shortbread cookies, Pretzels, Marshmallows, Graham crackers, etc.

1 comment:

Cooking and the City said...

Robin everything sounds absolutely delicious & your popovers look great. you & your friends must have had a fabulous time :-)